15 December 2010

Fighting Fish

When babies aren’t born,

his wrinkled, calloused hands wrestle each other,

it hurts the daddy too.

He sits in the lobby of the assisted care home, staring at the aquarium.

Not the same as the mother, but when a baby is stillborn—where the hell did they get the name anyway?Because the baby is still? There is nothing still afterwards.
We lost—she lost—three.The weirdest thing is for someone to be born dead. Born and dead at the same time.

The water plants sway in the filtered water.

I think the thing that hurt most was packing up the crib and buying the little coffin, so small it looked like a stage prop. Everything must have its place to end. Everything finds its place.

Water puddles on his lower eyelid.

Sometimes I wonder what if. I guess there is no reason to think of these fill in the blanks as much as I do. 

The setting sun bleeds pink through the window. I will have to leave soon.

She left me soon after we buried the last one. We stayed married in the same house, but she was never really there--not inside.

He chuckles. I follow his stare to two pink fish in the tank, repeatedly kissing and backing away flirtatiously.

Ever see pink gouramis? the fish? It looks like they’re kissing. They’re beautiful, but they’re actually

The gnarled knuckles of each hand hit.

doing battle. They’re trying to suck the life out of each other. That’s what we were.

There is a ringing of our own silence that makes me shift my view.

Nothing causes everything to die inside--where they can’t be repaired or replaced--like a child’s death. ‘Specially one you never knew.

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